Accessibility links

MDC Holds First Convention Since Joining Coalition Government


In Zimbabwe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangira's party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will hold its first annual convention this weekend since joining the unity government.

Delegates expect to discuss the party's relations with its ZANU-PF partner in the unity government headed by President Robert Mugabe.

The MDC convention is a prelude to the party's celebration of its 10th anniversary later this year.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told VOA that the party will also focus on the challenges of creating a new Zimbabwe and fighting for freedom and a democratic space.

"In fact we are starting tomorrow (Friday) with the accreditation of all the delegates, followed by the Saturday program, the official opening and keynote address from the president of the party, Mr. Tsvangirai," Chamisa said.

He said the MDC members have shown the ability and creativity to govern after joining the unity government.

"We are running under our theme 'building a path of excellence' because we are saying we have exhibited excellence in the local authority, and in parliament," he said.

Chamisa said the party would take a look at its policies in their entirety.

"The agenda is going to entail the issue of reviewing party programs and activities. And the second issue has to do with the policy review…to make sure that they are in sync with the founding objectives in our quest for a new Zimbabwe," Chamisa said.

He pledged that the MDC would make a sweeping assessment of its performance since joining the coalition government and would closely evaluate its role in resolving the country's crisis.

"We need to do a helicopter assessment," he said.

Chamisa said the party would look at the challenges it encountered with the ZANU-PF in the unity government and how the MDC can overcome them.

"Definitely, that is also going to be spotlighted and in fact it is going to essentially form a substantial component of our deliberation particularly on Saturday," Chamisa said.

He said the party reserves the right to seek international help to resolve the impasse with President Mugabe and ZANU-PF members of the coalition government.

"Our position is very correct. In fact we have the guarantors, SADC and the Africa Union. We have the duty and obligation to make sure that under circumstances of a deadlock, we refer this matter to the adjudicators, who would have to try and bring finality to issues we are not agreeing on," he said.

Chamisa said the coalition government was proceeding slowly, but he defended the small, but steady gains.

"We have not made the progress we would have wanted to make, but nevertheless, there is a significant progress and we have registered some early successes," Chamisa said.

Under the mediation of the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Zimbabwe's former opposition MDC joined a unity government in February.

Meanwhile, Norway reportedly became the first European country to renew aid to Zimbabwe. Oslo severed assistance in 2000, despite expressing worry about what it described as years of misrule, embezzlement and hyperinflation President Mugabe extended period of rule.

The Norwegian government, one of the first to renew badly needed aid, said the badly needed aid would include 58 million crowns ($9.17 million) through nongovernmental organizations and the World Bank and United Nations, bypassing the governmental donor system.

The unity government welcomed the move, saying the money will be used mainly to boost crippling health and education systems and support initiatives by the coalition government.

XS
SM
MD
LG